Stranded tourists safe as repairs begin after Taiwan quake

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Taiwan, Yuli Township; Earthquake
Collapsed Gaoliao Bridge in Hualien's Yuli Township. (CNA photo)

About 400 tourists who were stranded on a mountainside when a strong earthquake hit Taiwan have descended safely, as the island on Monday repaired damage caused by the quake.

The 6.8 magnitude quake hit the island on Sunday afternoon, temporarily trapping four people inside a levelled three-story building, knocking a train from its tracks and damaging a bridge. A worker in a cement factory was killed.

The quake was centred in eastern Hualien county, but was felt throughout Taiwan.

Smaller aftershocks continued to hit the island on Sunday night into Monday morning, although none was as severe.

The stranded tourists descended from the mountain throughout the night, with the last 90 making it down on Monday, local media reported.

Taiwan’s transportation minister visited a train station in Hualien county and said parts of the tracks that buckled during the quake would take up to a month to repair.

Taiwan, which sits on a seismologically active arc known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, is frequently hit by earthquakes.

The self-governing island lies 160km (100 miles) off the coast of mainland China.

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